Female Foeticide: An Atrocious Truth of the Society

The author in this article discusses the issue of Female Foeticide in India and the fact that the root cause of this heinous crime lies nowhere other than the pathetic mindsets of the people of our country, who considers a female child to be a menace

When life begins inside the mother’s womb, the little one in there is completely unaware of the outside world, for them, it would be the safest place they know, filled with warmth and love. Completely unaware of the evil that exists outside, some life ends before it even begins. A term given to this dreadful act is “Female Foeticide”. The term ‘female Foeticide’ means to kill a female fetus after determining its sex, the determination of which is done through medical examination of the fetus through ultrasound, and the baby is aborted by means of surgery or medications. It is a kind of practice which is being followed since ancient times and to date.

Female foeticide is the atrocious truth of our Indian society and the patriarchal mindsets of people which could force someone to cross all the boundaries of humanity. The instances of which can be traced in certain incidents that took place over the last decade. For example, A woman carrying a black plastic bag and throwing it in the river, trying to control her emotions but could not as the bag that she just threw away carried all her dreams, love, and life. Yes, the bag carried her dead baby whom she always loved and nurtured in her womb and was unaware that her husband and in-laws would kill the baby after knowing it to be a female. Or what would have happened to the mother who was drugged and made to undergo termination of her pregnancy and saw her dead baby being fed to dogs?

The root cause of this heinous crime lies nowhere other than the pathetic mindsets of the people of our country, who considers a female child to be a menace. The main cause of this mindset is:-

Causes

  • Dowry

Dowry has been a pervasive practice in India’s cutting edge time and in this unique circumstance, it tends to be as an installment of money or endowments from the lady of the hour’s family to the spouse’s family upon marriage. There are minor departures from share predominance dependent on topography and class. States in the north are bound to take an interest in the settlement framework among all classes, and share is bound to be as material and portable products. In the south, the lady of the hour value framework is increasingly pervasive, and is all the more frequently as land, or other legacy merchandise. This framework is attached to the social structure of marriage, which keeps marriage inside or near family relations. The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961[1] united the counter endowment laws which had been passed on certain states. This enactment accommodates a punishment in section 3 if any individual gives, takes, or abets giving or getting of share. The punishment could be detainment for at least 5 years and a fine more than ₹15,000 or the estimation of the share got, whichever is higher.

  • Cultural Preference

The families generally prefer male child for various social and economic reasons as they could become a good source of income for their family and would also continue the family bloodline. The sons are considered to look after their parents during their old age whereas daughters are considered as burdens as at first, they have to look after half of her life and then give her away to her in-laws.

Measures

Even today during the 21st Century this problem still exists and it connotes that the patriarchal mindset of people has not really changed. This is the main cause of declining sex ratio in our country, so there must be certain measures which should be taken to prevent the sex-selective abortions, they are as follows:-

  • Education

Education is the way into the advancement of psyche and society, through instruction an individual’s perspective can be transformed, it gives the information on the world and leads one from haziness to light. So the administration must take appropriate measures to give instruction to all.

  • Women Empowerment

Sexual orientation disparities are still profoundly established in each general public. Ladies experience the ill effects of the absence of access to conventional work and face word related isolation and sexual orientation wage holes. As a rule, they are denied access to essential training and medicinal services and are casualties of viciousness and separation. They are under-spoken to in political and monetary dynamic procedures.

With the point of better tending to these difficulties and to distinguish a solitary perceived driver to lead and organize UN exercises on sex fairness issues, UN Women was set up in 2010.

As the women are our society has always been a subjugated class, women empowerment is the beginning of the end of the patriarchal society. If a woman is empowered enough to be independent and look after herself and her family, then slowly but steadily the change will come and gender inequalities will come to an end. One of the best examples of the initiative taken by the government it the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao”scheme, the Scheme is to celebrate the girl child and enable her education.

The objectives of the Scheme are as under:

  1. To prevent gender biased sex-selective elimination.
  2. To ensure survival and protection of the girl child.
  3. To ensure the education and participation of the girl child.
  • Implementation of Laws

Even after the pre-natal sex determination in India is made illegal under section 23 in The Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection)] Act, 1994 this practice has not come to an end. Even the medical practitioners play a vital role in the commission of such offenses.

Prohibition of sex selection, Act 1994 states as follows [2]

  1. The Act accommodates the disallowance of sex choice, previously or after origination.
  2.  It controls the utilization of pre-natal demonstrative strategies, similar to ultrasound and amniocentesis by permitting them their utilization just to distinguish :
  3. hereditary variations from the norm
  4. metabolic issues
  5. chromosomal variations from the norm
  6. certain innate distortions
  7. hemoglobinopathies
  8. Sex connected issues.
  1. No research facility or focus or center will direct any test including ultrasonography to decide the sex of the embryo.
  2. No individual, including the person who is directing the system according to the law, will impart the sex of the baby to the pregnant lady or her family members by words, signs, or some other strategy.
  3. Any individual who puts a promotion for pre-natal and pre-origination sex assurance offices as a notification, round, name, covering or any record, or publicizes through inside or other media in electronic or print structure or takes part in any obvious portrayal made by methods for storing, divider painting, signal, light, stable, smoke or gas, can be detained for as long as three years and fined Rs. 10,000.
  4. Creating Awareness

Making individuals mindful will give them an understanding of their convictions and whether they are sure or negative. To make the individuals mindful is the key element for advancement, strengthening, and usage of laws. The administration and different associations must sort out mindfulness battles among the individuals of our general public. The adjustment in the general public may require some serious energy as the evil of female foeticide is so profoundly established, however it will come one day if the correct measures are taken. We should never surrender and consistently attempt to Save the Girl Child! Aside from this, The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 still needs execution and it didn’t change the mentality of the individuals that share is restricted thus; the young lady’s kid would not be a weight to her family.

To stop female foeticide the central government implemented many schemes, few among them are:

  1. Sukanya Samriddhi Account, 2015: Interest earned on a bank account opened for daughter after she turns 21.
  2. Balika Samriddhi Yojana, 1997: Cash transfer to mother based on child meeting educational conditions and partaking in income-generating activities.
  3. Dhan Laxmi Scheme, 2008: Cash transfers to the family after meeting conditions (immunization, education, insurance)[3]

Also read Female Infanticide